Multifarious characterization of Leishmania tropica from a Judean desert focus, exposing intraspecific diversity and incriminating Phlebotomus sergenti as its vector

Lionel F. Schnur*, Abdelmageed Nasereddin, Carol L. Eisenberger, Charles L. Jaffe, Mustafa El Fari, Kifayia Azmi, Gerlind Anders, Mireille Killick-Kendrick, Robert Killick-Kendrick, Jean Paul Dedet, Francine Pratlong, Moien Kanaan, Tamar Grossman, Raymond L. Jacobson, Gabrielle Schonian, Alon Warburg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations

Abstract

The predominant sand fly species collected inside houses in Kfar Adumim, an Israeli village in the Judean Desert that is a focus of cutaneous leishmaniasis, was Phlebotomus papatasi, which was also caught attempting to bite humans. Phlebotomus sergenti, which is rarely seen inside houses, constituted the predominant sand fly species in caves near the village. Leishmania isolates from Ph. sergenti and humans typed as Leishmania tropica. Sand fly and human isolates produced similar small nodular cutaneous lesions in hamsters. Isolates produced excreted factor (EF) of subserotypes A9 or A9B2, characteristic of L. tropica and reacted with L. tropica-specific monoclonal antibodies. Isoenzyme analysis consigned the strains to the L. tropica zymodemes MON-137 and MON-275. Molecular genetic analyses confirmed the strains were L. tropica and intraspecific microheterogeneity was observed. Genomic fingerprinting using a mini-satellite probe separated the L. tropica strains into two clusters that were not entirely congruent with geographic distribution. These results support the heterogeneous nature of L. tropica and incriminate Ph. sergenti as its vector in this Judean Desert focus.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)364-372
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume70
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2004

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